Every Reason You Need to Start Using Manhole Inserts

Improperly fitted and maintained manholes allow debris and other contaminants into municipal stormwater and wastewater systems. Well, that’s all underground, you say. So what’s the problem?

In America today, much of this contaminated water ends up in streams and oceans. Over 800 billion gallons of it, in fact. This increases the risk of outbreaks of diseases like dysentery, salmonella, hepatitis, and cryptosporidium.

Thankfully, there’s a simple solution to this problem and others related to our wastewater systems. Read on to find out why manhole inserts are a simple, cost-effective option for contamination control.

Easy to Install and Remove

Manhole inserts are typically made from high-grade, durable industrial plastics, making them more flexible to cut to size and fit into tight spaces. You can place a small-sized manhole insert by hand, but for large manhole inserts, you might need the assistance of a crane or backhoe.

Securely set manhole inserts in place atop manhole covers using grout or putty and spacers. If the manhole is located in a public area, such as a footpath or road, be sure to clean and smooth the surface after the insert is installed. A properly installed, quality manhole insert will stay in place even as the manhole below corrodes away.

Keeps Things Clean

While manhole inserts have been around since the end of the 1970s, they’re only just starting to pick up in popularity. That’s because construction companies, industrial facilities, and city planners now realize their value for protecting against waterway and sewage system contamination.

A carefully installed manhole insert keeps out:

  • Road-salt
  • Grit and sand
  • Chemical spills
  • Road oils
  • Foreign items
  • Dirt and debris
  • Excess rain

By reducing the unwanted surface water inflow, water treatment plants and systems can work far more effectively and efficiently.

Stops Sewer Stinks

Sewers systems–whether the pipes that flow under cities or a backyard septic tank–are naturally odor-filled places.

To better control the sewer odors that waft up from your drainage system, consider installing a manhole insert. These inserts are fitted with valves or vent holes that stop gas build-ups while preventing smells from escaping.

Be careful. Strong odors coming from your septic system or residential sewage pipes could indicate a leak. If you’ve installed a manhole insert and still smell sewage, get a plumber in to take a look or call city management.


Even the most oversized manhole inserts are inexpensive, and you don’t need a lot of time, materials, or large numbers of workers to install them. In some cases, they can even replace a pricey traditional metal manhole cover entirely.

Most manhole inserts come with a multi-month warranty, and you can expect them to have a long service life–making the investment even more worthwhile.

Use Manhole Inserts for Cleaner Water Systems

Are you undertaking residential or commercial construction work? Manhole inserts are cheap, long-lasting, and easy to install. They offer a simple solution to a complex problem. So why not add them to your anti-water-contamination arsenal today?

For more tips and tricks on keeping America’s waterways clean, read the other articles on our blog.

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